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Councilor, business leader want to bring back Boise’s 4th of July parade. What to know

Idaho Statesman logo Idaho Statesman 8/9/2022 Ian Max Stevenson, The Idaho Statesman
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter hands out candy during the Liberty Day Parade in Downtown Boise on July 4, 2019. Bieter was accompanied by a float supporting his re-election campaign. © Nicole Blanchard/Idaho Statesman/TNS Boise Mayor Dave Bieter hands out candy during the Liberty Day Parade in Downtown Boise on July 4, 2019. Bieter was accompanied by a float supporting his re-election campaign.

After a three-year hiatus, Boise’s 4th of July parade may return to Idaho’s capital for good next summer.

Organizers are working to form a committee to plan the celebration that was long organized by a local family. They expect to bring the proposal to the city by the end of the year.

In 2020, the annual parade was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the family that had organized the parade for years bowed out.

Boise City Council Member Luci Willits, who ran partially on a platform of reinstating the parades, told the Idaho Statesman by phone that she talked about bringing the parades back on the radio, and Todd Christensen, chief marketing officer at CapEd Credit Union, of Meridian, heard her and reached out.

“It’s too easy to let these things die,” Willits said. “And then when they die, then it becomes normal that we don’t have them.”

She added, “Especially during a divisive environment, this is the kind of thing we should be doing to recognize the country that we live in and the things that we can do to bring together community and celebrate each other.”

During her campaign last year, Willits called Boise’s lack of a parade a “disgrace” in a profile on the Ada County Republican Party website. Willits was elected to the nonpartisan council in November, representing West Boise in the first election by district under a new state law.

“The city wants these kinds of events, they want to be a partner in it, they just don’t want to run them, because it’s so much work,” she said.

Christensen told the Statesman that he is soliciting responses from community members interested in participating as volunteers, sponsors or planners. More than 50 people have expressed interest, he said.

An organizing committee will be put together at the end of August or in early September, he said. He expects that it will include Dave Barrett, whose family previously organized the annual parades.

A nonprofit started by the Barrett family would continue to manage the parade’s revenues and expenditures, he said.

Christensen said he is still researching how much the parade will cost, and CapEd has not yet determined what its contribution will be. Fundraising has begun.

He said he expects to bring a proposal to the city’s Special Events Commission between October and December.

Anyone interested in being involved as a participant or volunteer can visit www.boise4th.com.

©2022 The Idaho Statesman. Visit idahostatesman.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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